April 13, 2024
Lucy Kamau
(Above: Honors Program student Lucy Kamau)

The Herkimer College Honors Program: Where Students Make a Difference

The Herkimer College Honors Program provides students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher the opportunity to acquire a variety of skills outside of the classroom through experiential learning.  Interpersonal communication, self-direction, leadership, emotional intelligence—these are all important aspects of a marketable employee and moreover a productive member of society.  The Honors Program helps students actively develop these skills as they complete the three required courses within the program.

Lucy Kamau, a Human Resource Management major from Queens Village, NY, recently completed her capstone course (HP303).  HP303 provides students the opportunity to design and implement a community-based project independently, showcasing the skills they have acquired throughout the Honors Program. Lucy developed a project that would benefit her local community:  the establishment of a reading area for a preschool day care center.  Lucy worked tirelessly to coordinate a location, donations, and volunteers all the while maintaining proper COVID-19 precautions.  The project was a great success.

As Lucy wrote in her project reflection:

“My communication skills have improved in a great way. Since the project is about the leadership, I used my knowledge of Human Resource Management studies to prepare my report. Those studies included, but were not limited to: Business Organization and Management, Business Communications, Business Applications and Strategies, and Organizational Behavior. This project has made me a different person who is able to think critically.  During the process I was able to solve problems and make informed decisions using the skills acquired in my course of study at Herkimer County Community College. 

Looking at my career development, I am on the way to discovering my potential following the great leadership the project instilled in me. I learned that to be a leader, one must possess qualities such as being trustworthy, confident, an effective communicator, accountable, responsible and team oriented. I further learned qualities of a leader can develop by discipline, hard work, good ethics, and decision-making abilities. Working towards achieving organizational goals and objectives makes effective…I will utilize this information to be a leader who is always fast to listen and slow to speak.”

Lucy is a December 2021 graduate, and will be transferring to Bellevue University in the spring to major in Management of Human Resources, where she will further her skill development.  As she stated in her project: “I am further looking forward to proving to the world that I can observe, discover, analyze, and present possible solutions in day-to-day life and of course make a difference in other people’s lives.”

Herkimer College wishes you luck in all that you do Lucy, we are proud to have you as an Honors Program graduate!

HP302 students this semester also completed a wide-range of experiential learning projects with their chosen mentors.  The projects included:

  • Actively interviewing professionals to create a primer for students interested in various career pathways (i.e. Physical Therapy, Criminal Justice)
  • Assessing college students regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental, physical and financial health and use of the data to inform how the College can assist students in the future
  • Writing, publishing, and marketing a novel and creating a guide for students who wish to do so in the future
  • Creating a collection of stories from past first generation students who have graduated from Herkimer College
  • Establishing a “take a book, leave a book” kiosk in a local community to support lifelong literacy
  • Presenting information on the benefits of animal therapy to a local group of schoolchildren
  • Actively helping the public assess their understanding of the role of online advertising and how to educate themselves on falling into common pitfalls of marketing schemes
  • Organizing a virtual round-table discussion on addiction, involving the campus and local community
  • Filming a short documentary on living with Multiple Sclerosis
  • Virtually networking with school kids to help them understand their body types and how to best dress for that type
  • Constructing flower boxes to increase beautification of  the campus and to prepare a welcoming environment for students upon the return to in person classes

These students will now complete their capstone project this spring as Lucy did this fall—we cannot wait to see the exciting projects they will develop!

Jennifer Herzog

Jennifer Herzog is an Associate Professor of Biology at Herkimer College and the Director of the Honors Program.

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